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Houston Chronicle: Seven kidnapped energy workers released

Associated Press

YENAGOA, NIGERIA — Gunmen have released seven kidnapped oil industry workers — five foreigners seized from a rig a week ago and two senior Nigerian managers taken captive last weekend, police and company officials said Wednesday.

Nigerian security forces helped negotiate the release of the five foreigners, Bayelsa state police spokesman Inyebom Inidong said. The two New Zealanders, one Australian, one Venezuelan and one Lebanese were subcontractors to oil giant Royal Dutch Shell.

In neighboring Rivers state, two senior Shell employees also were released, company spokesman Precious Okolobo said. The two were among 15 Shell employees attacked when they went to repair a vandalized pipeline Saturday.

Oil workers are frequently kidnapped in the Niger Delta region by militants demanding a greater share of oil revenues, or else by criminal gangs seeking ransom.

July 11, 2007, 7:27PM

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/energy/4961120.html

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